A Brief History of the Hybrid Vehicle

2599 Words May 24th, 2005 11 Pages
Brief History of Hybrid Vehicle Development

First built in the early 1900s by inventors tinkering with combinations of the electric motor and the gasoline engine, hybrid vehicles were dropped when gasoline-fueled vehicles became more reliable and easier to start, and gasoline fuel more readily available. Research and development of hybrid vehicles was revived by concern about oil dependency in the1970s and about air pollution in the late 1980s.

A number of hybrid vehicles have been built and tested since 1980. Some of these vehicles have impressed analysts with their performance and low levels of exhaust and petroleum consumption. Interest in hybrid vehicles jumped in late 1993 with the announcement of funding for
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The Series Hybrid Car: The gasoline engine in this car turns a generator and the generator can either charge the batteries or power an electric motor that drives the transmission. Thus the gasoline engine never directly powers the vehicle.

All of the components form a line that eventually connects with the transmission.

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Hybrid Components

Gasoline engine - The hybrid car has a gasoline engine much like the one you will find on most cars. However, the engine on a hybrid is smaller and uses advanced technologies to reduce emissions and increase efficiency. The engine turns the generator. It is not able to power the car directly.

Fuel tank - The fuel tank in a hybrid is the energy storage device for the gasoline engine. Gasoline has a much higher energy density than batteries do. For example, it takes about 1,000 pounds of batteries to store as much energy as 1 gallon (7 pounds) of gasoline.

Electric motor - The electric motor on a hybrid car is very sophisticated. Advanced electronics allow it to act as a motor as well as a generator. For example, when it needs to, it can draw energy from the batteries to accelerate the car. But acting as a generator, it can slow the car down and return energy to the batteries.

Generator - The generator is similar to an electric motor, but it acts only to produce electrical power. It is used mostly on series hybrids. It is
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